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The grant is meant to help the military’s demining efforts
PHMNOM PENH--The Indian government on Aug. 10 pledged $1.5 million in grant assistance to support the demining efforts of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF).
The agreement aimed at expanding the RCAF’s demining capabilities was signed by Defense Secretary of State Neang Phat and Indian Ambassador Manika Jain. The signing ceremony was presided over by Cambodia’s Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tea Bahn, according to a press release.
“The present grant assistance of $1.5 million from the government of India is likely to considerably boost the demining capabilities of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces,” the press release read.
During the ceremony, Banh thanked the Indian government for its continuous support to Cambodia. Jain pointed out that defense cooperation between the two countries was strengthening and that efforts were underway to enhance the scope and intensity of engagement in the future, the press release said.
India and Cambodia formally established diplomatic relations in 1952. Both countries enjoyed friendly relations until 1975 when ties were cut during the Khmer Rouge regime. Relations resumed in 1981.
Since then, the bilateral relations have developed in different areas including defense cooperation—which has received a boost by frequent visits by the two countries’ defense officials as well as several initiatives such as military training and expert exchanges.
According to the press release, assistance to demining has been an important area in bilateral relations between Cambodia and India. In 2016, the Indian government had donated 15 mine-detection dogs to the country.
Cambodia has suffered from landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) left over three-decade of war and conflicts. According to a report by the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, between 1979 and June this year, 19,789 persons were killed and 45,102 others were injured or amputated in landmines and UXO accidents.